Friday, August 22, 2008

Operation Trojan Horse in British India

According to a book released on October 28th, 2007 named "Some Hidden Facts: Martyrdom of Shaheed Bhagat Singh", it carries the subtitle “Secrets unfurled by an Intelligence Bureau Agent of British-India”, written by K.S.Kooner, the ‘execution’ of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev marked the execution of a conspiracy code-named “Operation Trojan Horse”, which, in effect, facilitated the pacification of the British officers in general and the prospective in-laws of the late J P Saunders in particular. Accordingly, Bhagat Singh and his associates did go through the formality of ‘hanging’ but only to the extent of breaking their necks; semi-conscious, they were taken to the Lahore Cantonment where the ‘Death Squad’, comprising Saunder’s family, shot them to quench their thirst for revenge.
Since doing all this during day time could have invited a violent reaction from the people, the ‘execution’ was performed at night; for the same reason, the bullet-ridden bodies were neither sent for postmortem nor handed over to the relatives. Instead, most surreptitiously, these were taken in a lorry to a pre-fixed isolated place on a kutcha-road (6 miles away from Lahore, on the right bank of the Beas where it meets the Sutlej) and burnt to ashes. And, to put the people on the wrong track, some flesh and bones were half burnt and buried on the western bank of the Sutlej, near Hussainiwala. Two Indian agents were sent to Lahore to pose as volunteers and tell the Congress people that they had seen at Ganda Singh Wala a big burning pyre from a distance.

Believing the story, some people (including Bhagat’s sister Bibi Amar Kaur) reached the ‘hot’ spot, dug up the flesh and half-burnt bones (plus one big broken but uncharred bone which they surmised must have been the arm of Bhagat Singh, the tallest of the three) that lay buried there, and took these back to Lahore where the half-burnt stuff was ‘properly’ cremated on the bank of the Ravi in the midst of sloganeering crowds, all in tears.

This was precisely what the ‘Operation Trojan Horse’ meant to achieve — the British way of denying the martyrs the honour of a glorious farewell by the people.

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